5 simple ways to become a top employer

We’re just over halfway through the year, and Canada’s Top 100 Employers of 2016 list is out. It includes repeat winners like Telus Corp. in Vancouver, who recently brought on a Chief Wellness Officer to encourage employees in making healthy decisions, and Stryker Canada Inc., who’ve shown increased support for new moms and dads by topping up parental leave payments to 100% of salary for 26 weeks. It’s safe to say that these companies invest much of their time and resources navigating the competitive hiring landscape by getting to know what their people want.

Wondering how you can make next year’s list?

Here are 5 simple ways to achieve top employer status.

1. Create a culture that your employees can promote. It’s pretty simple – when people are happy, they tend to talk about it. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are geared for sharing, so a tweet about how much your employee loves their company or job can go a long way in promoting your employer brand and improving your talent search. Ensure your employees know you value their hard work, and you’ll likely find them motivated to work harder and proudly tout you as their organization of choice. You didn’t just pick them, they picked you – and that feels really good.

2. Treat honesty as a company value. Honesty is definitely the best policy when it comes to your employees, because people tend to feel better about where they work and who they work for when they can trust them. If you’re a manager, practice transparency with your team. Whether it be regarding goals, timelines, or progress – the more open and honest you are with your employees, the more they’ll want to share with you. Which means you’re less likely to be kept out of the loop if things aren’t going as planned. So instead of being left to cleanup a mess, you’ll foster a team approach to coming up with a solution.

3. Encourage real feedback. Companies sometimes think it’s a good idea to send out employee surveys with multiple choice questions that never really allow anyone to give honest feedback. Sure, they may be sent out with the best of intentions, but what’s the objective if you’re making it harder for your people to be real about their experience at your company? Take a more personal approach and talk to your team members. This will make them feel that their voices are being heard. If you don’t know what’s up, you really can’t do much about it.

4. Face the music AKA reviews. Platforms like Glassdoor can be scary, but reviews, both good and bad, can be used to your advantage. There’s always room for improvement, so if a ton of people have a similar complaint, it might be time for you to sit down and update policies or rethink management style. Reviews give you the chance to think about how you can be better and recognize where the gaps are, so don’t let them deter you by getting on the defense.

5. Be real. When you’re hiring for a new position and you’ve found the perfect person, you still have to remain true to your company values and standards. If you can offer perks like telecommuting or flexible work schedules, say so. Refrain from making promises you can’t keep, because another organization will be happy to make-up for them, and you’ll lose the trust and talent of great people. High turnover is always at the cost of your organization, so not only do you owe it to the people you hire, but you owe it to yourself to be as transparent as possible. There are a lot of people looking for work, but there are also a lot of great companies hiring.

Following the rules helps, and all of the employers on this year’s list practice one if not all of the pointers above. Remember that on your way up to the top, you aren’t just building a reputation, you’re attracting the best talent out there while keeping your current workforce happy and engaged.


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